Doctors say that with no end in sight to the pandemic, couples who postponed fertility treatment during the first wave are now queuing up at fertility clinics.
Despite the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak, couples began or resumed their plans to conceive at fertility clinics in the city that had seen a short halt in IVF treatments during the first wave last year.
Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, who runs a highly successful IVF center in India, relates the story of one of his patients in this article.
“They couldn’t wait any longer for IVF treatment now that we know Covid-19 is here to stay,” the expert explained. When the couple planned to start a family in 2019, the lady’s ovulation was irregular (the monthly release of an egg from the ovaries). Ovulation induction (O.I.) is a fertility treatment that involves hormone therapy to increase egg growth and release.
The treatment began in May of this year. However, it was ineffective. Dr. Hrishikesh Pai – the IVF expert, advised intrauterine insemination (IUI). IUI is a treatment for infertility in which sperm is directly injected into the uterus via a tiny catheter when the ovary releases one or more eggs to be fertilized.
The pair were supposed to have their first surgery on April 12, 2020, but Covid-19 arrived in Mumbai. “It was a brand-new virus. We decided to halt the treatments till the pandemic was ended since there were so many rumors that Covid-19 could even infect the fetus,” the doctor added. However, even a year later, in March, the pandemic showed no signs of abating across the globe, despite the virus’s mutation.
They chose to get the operation in May after waiting about 13 months. She became pregnant on the first cycle, much to their astonishment. “The IUI treatment has a 20 percent success rate in the first round. She was finally pregnant after a 13-month wait,” claimed the specialist from India’s incredible IVF center.
This isn’t the first time a couple has postponed IVF treatment due to the pandemic. According to data released by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (B.M.C.), over 12,000 women received IVF treatment in the city in 2016, up from 8,000 in 2016. However, following the Covid-19 pandemic last year, a health official from the local body stated that the number of couples going for IVF treatment dropped by 50%.
“Every fertility clinic was shut down. People were unable to travel for their normal IVF treatment and follow-up assessment due to the national lockdown. Prospective parents were likewise concerned about the virus potentially infecting the fetus. As a result, IVF treatment has encountered a snag,” Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, M.D., F.C.P.S., F.I.C.O.G. MSc, explained (U.S.A.)
IVF is a long-term procedure that entails several trips to the fertility clinic and scans, drugs, and injections. “At first, there were no defined criteria, and study on the novel virus Sars-Cov-2 was limited. As a result, we had to halt procedures for 1-2 months. However, the Union Ministry of Health has now released instructions. “All IVF clinics in India are taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety of moms and babies,” stated an IVF specialist.
According to medical professionals, couples who have put their hopes to have a child on hold because of the Covid-19 virus don’t want to wait long for IVF treatment because it’s now well known that the virus will last longer than expected.
In comparison to the first wave, IVF clinics are reporting a 200 percent increase in IVF cycles.
“All people who had postponed IVF therapy are now seeking reproductive treatment at clinics. We are also seeing many new patients, many of whom are single women seeking IVF therapy. Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, the doctor from the IVF center in Mumbai, India, said, “Their dread of the virus has changed.”
The physician, “Citizens have adapted to the pandemic in the last 18 months (existence of Covid-19). They understand that the virus cannot infect the mother or the baby if necessary precautions are taken.
Couples have spent more time together in the last year as a result of lockdown triggered work-from-home life, which has eliminated an hour-long daily drive for many. As a result, many couples are eager to start a family.
Couples’ lifestyles have evolved. They are exercising and eating more at home. In the lockdown, they are more relaxed at home. Couples who previously struggled to conceive are now able to conceive naturally, without the use of IVF.